Whales and penguins in the Patagonia Argentina

More than one million penguins fill the Punta Tombo reserve this year

The number of penguins is very unusual.

An amount that was not given for many seasons. The natives of Patagonia never saw so many specimens together in the most important continental reserve of the species.
Tourists enjoy the penguins in Punta Tombo, the city overflows with penguins: more than one million specimens are in the reserve. The causes of this large number of specimens is the massive arrival of so-called subadults and juveniles (those born the previous season) who come to change the plumage. The Undersecretary of Tourism of Chubut, Néstor Garcia, added another fact: it was a great year in the reproductive.
On the other hand, there is much food in the area. Especially of anchovies, the favorite of the Magellanic Penguin. These birds arrive at Punta Tombo in September and remain until the first weeks of March. They come to reproduce and change the plumage. More than 50 thousand tourists visit the reserve every season.
The number of specimens that are currently in the reserve give the place a special attraction. In addition, tourists are very close to the animals when they travel through the specially built walkways in the reserve. And penguins are friendly as long as no one touches their nests.
In some stretches, visitors can walk between the cute little chaplinesco walking animals and between 60 and 80 centimeters in height. Before arriving, the tourist can go through an interpretation center where they know details of the life of the penguins. The million copies currently in the reserve, located 105 kilometers from Trelew, in Chubut, has aroused the interest of tourists who in recent days attended in large numbers to witness this spectacle that was not given years ago.



Puerto Madryn, the Argentine paradise of whales

In September began the best season to travel to Península Valdés. Penguins, orcas, wolves and sea elephants become the protagonists of the province of Chubut.

The high season in Puerto Madryn begins in the month of September and ends at the end of the year. Argentines and foreigners from all over the world travel to Peninsula Valdés to witness one of the most wonderful landscapes on the planet, and the temporary visitors who arrive to its waters. It is the place is recognized for the great variety of fauna: whales, penguins, wolves and elephants, hundreds of birds and killer whales.
Puerto Madryn is located on the Northwest Coast of the province of Chubut and is the main gateway to Peninsula Valdes. Some tourist spots to visit nearby are Isla de los Pájaros, Puerto Pirámides, Punta Delgada, Caleta Valdés and Punta Norte, among other great attractions in the area. It is important to emphasize that Madryn was declared Capital of the Diving by the chamber of deputies in Argentina. In addition it counts on a wide scientific-cultural offer among which the Ecocentro interpretation center, the Municipal Art Museum and the Madryn al Plato gastronomic festival stand out.
Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1999, Península Valdés offers a real safari in the Argentinean Patagonia. From the plane you can see the Giants of Valdés, examples of southern right whales that walk along the coasts of the Golfo Nuevo, in front of the beaches and next to the pier of Puerto Madryn. They are the great stars of this trip, with their fantastic iconic tail, their mating rituals, and their newborn babies.
Whales come to Peninsula Valdes every year in June, because they find the ideal tranquility they need to reproduce. The options to see them are from the rambla in Madryn, in the natural area El Doradillo, and with the onboard sightings that are offered in Puerto Pirámides.
“Madryn is the most important place in Argentine tourism in sight,” said Mario Oyarzábal, Argentine delegate to the International Whaling Commission and legal counsel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.
The other figure present from September to March is the penguin of Magellan. In the vicinity of Puerto Madryn there are several very numerous breeding colonies, such as the Estancia San Lorenzo, protected area in Punta Norte, Peninsula Valdés. Also in the Reserve El Pedral, in Punta Ninfas, which is part of the biosphere reserve of Unesco. These proposals can be hired through agencies, and include picnicking with lamb in Patagonia, lodging in country hotels, and excursions to discover fossils on the cliffs and canyons that drain into the sea.

On Route 3 to the south, 170 kilometers from Madryn, Punta Tombo Protected Natural Area houses the largest continental penguin colony of Magellan in America, with almost one million copies. They can be seen in their nests, walking towards the sea in search of food or feeding their chicks in the mouth. In addition, among the penguins also walk the gulls cooks, skuas, steam ducks, royal and black-necked cormorants, Antarctic pigeons and petrels.
Elephants and sea lions are visible at various points along the coast of Chubut, as in the Punta Loma and Punta Pirámide reserves. On the beaches of Punta Norte, between September and April, killer whales also look for prey. They wait for the tide to rise and as soon as they see the opportunity, they will beach on the beach in order to capture sea lions and feed themselves. While there are killer whales since September, they are easier to spot between late February and April, during high tide.
The truth is that Puerto Madryn this season is an unforgettable experience, allowing a total approach to nature, from navigation between whales and walks among the penguins. It also offers some of the most fascinating landscapes of South Argentina, and is an incredible destination to enjoy both friends and family, with activities for all tastes.

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